The year 2020 was a year like no other. Every corner of the globe experienced uncertainty and tragedy — but also displays of heroism and resilience. Collectively, we’ve adapted and changed to ‘the new normal’ with impressive speed. This was especially true in the global health landscape, which looks very different than it did this time last year. These changes pushed Fullscript to evolve the platform, responding to the emerging needs of practitioners.
The top 10 product releases of 2020
- Launching patient wellness content
- Running two major promotions
- Updating the patient catalog
- Revolutionizing our treatment plan tool
- Introducing shareable wellness protocols
- Going carbon-neutral
- Offering wholesale purchasing
- Refreshing the catalog
- Supporting student accounts
- Growing our EHR integrations
According to a Deloitte Survey, “data from the spring of 2020 shows more physicians are using virtual health (with some practices reporting a 50%–70% increase in use).”
The survey also indicates that, moving forward “virtual health is poised to become a central part of the health care delivery system. Patients and clinicians who have experienced the convenience of virtual health might not want to go back to in-person care for many types of visits.”
But the changes we’re seeing go beyond methods of delivering care. The study also found that the global health crisis has changed practitioners’ attitudes towards the health of their own practices and the need to support a growing commitment to preventative health.
“Most physicians in our survey believe that the next generation of physicians should focus on understanding the business of medicine (65%) and how to deliver care that focuses on prevention and well-being (59%),” the report states.
Fullscript was ready to support practitioners during this shift. Since the beginning, our purpose has been to harness technology so we can offer integrative healthcare practitioners a more convenient, cost-effective way of keeping patients healthy. We’ve always seen virtual supplement dispensing as a way for practitioners to run a smarter, more future-proof business while incorporating preventative medicine into their patients’ treatment plans.
This core value positioned Fullscript to help practitioners pivot their practice if needed. It ensured continuous care and 24/7 access to the supplements patients need to maintain their wellness plans.
Smart solutions to new problems
Even still, when the health crisis first hit, we adjusted our product roadmap to help ease the new challenges our users were facing:
- An in-stock toggle for patients that would default to showing products that were available for ordering — although they could still view backordered items if desired
- A modal that showed patients similar, available products (chosen by our Integrative Medical Advisory Team), if they placed backordered products in their cart
- An in-stock immune support banner in the app for patients with access to open and private catalogs. When selected, it would show available immune support products
After the initial response, we revisited our product roadmap for the year and reprioritized based on what we knew practitioners would need to keep their practices and patients healthy.
Themes based on needs
We established four themes to decide which projects to tackle in 2020.
1. Customizable + flexible
More than ever before, we needed to meet people where they were, and support their unique and ever-evolving needs. This meant aligning with people’s lifestyles, goals, new business models, and preferred workflow.
2. Simplicity + reducing tech clutter
As practitioners and patients transitioned to a more virtual environment for everything from work to socialization, we wanted to continue offering helpful tools while removing stress and limiting the number of platforms and accounts people had to manage.
3. Sustainability + better business
Like many people, we used the health crisis as an opportunity to take stock of what really matters and press the reset button on priorities. As a company dedicated to helping people get better, we recognized that we could do more to help the planet get healthier as well. We also saw ways to improve the way we run our business to provide a better experience for our team members and our customers.
4. Practice management + growth
The pandemic put a lot of stress on practitioners — especially those who run their own business. We’ve always looked for ways to help practitioners reduce costs and workload to serve their clients better. We knew that helping practices maintain a steady revenue stream and promote themselves had never been more important. With these themes in mind, we hit the ground. Our product and engineering team delivered some amazing work, from smart iterations on existing features to brand-new functionality. In no particular order, here are our top picks for product features from 2020.
The top 10 product releases of 2020
1. Launching patient wellness content
Practice management + growth In 2020, we launched our patient wellness initiative, and it’s become one of our most popular programs among both practitioners and patients. Fullscript sends patients bi-weekly emails that contain practical, trustworthy content that’s carefully researched by our Integrative Medical Advisory Team. Practitioners and patients can choose to opt out, but most haven’t! The timely and relevant articles complement practitioner recommendations, offering a more holistic integrative health experience that places value on knowledge. It helps patients stay informed and motivated. It keeps their treatment plans top-of-mind and leads to more orders and higher adherence.
Did you know? These automated patient wellness emails lead to a 15% boost in MSRP week over week for practitioners, on average.
2. Running two major promotions
Practice management + growth
We ran two very successful promotions in 2020. These events are truly a win-win for practitioners and patients. Our June Promotion saw participating practitioners generating a 240% lift in revenue, on average. At the same time, patients saved money on the supplements they need.
Fullscript takes care of all the back-end coding and necessary updates to the catalog for a successful promotion, turning the promotion on and off. Our distribution centers bring on extra staff and invest in new warehouse management systems to support the influx of orders. The Fullscript team also creates marketing materials and automates emails to communicate the sale to patients, generating excitement leading up to the event. We also provide practitioners with materials and resources to promote the sale to their client list.
In our 2020 Cyber Monday sale, 5,859 dispensaries opted in, and we reached 682,811 patients!
3. Updating the patient catalog
Simplicity + reducing tech clutter In April, we overhauled the patient experience on Fullscript. This was an iteration that didn’t have a ton of bells and whistles but was super impactful for the user. The refresh included:
- Making the patient experience mobile-friendly
- Simplifying the navigation so it was easier to use, with fewer steps
- Improving product search and filtering
- Showing patients their recently viewed products as well as new brands that have been added to the catalog
- Adding more personalization to make the patient feel supported
4. Revolutionizing our treatment plan tool
Customizable + flexible In the spring, we completely revamped what is arguably the most important element of our platform: the treatment plan tool. This feature allows a practitioner to write a recommendation, attach products and other resources, and send it virtually to a patient.The improved recommendation tool allows practitioners to be more efficient when running a practice. We gathered feedback from practitioners and delivered features they were asking for — plus, a few they didn’t even know they wanted! The new treatment plan tool included:
- A new product search tool that allows practitioners to add multiple filters like dose, unit, ingredient combinations, allergens, and more to find the exact product they need
- Search results can be sorted A-Z, Z-A, most prescribed, best match, and by price
- An update to make it mobile and tablet-friendly
- Speed — the new treatment plan tool is crazy-fast in both design and load time
- Faster template creation
- The ability to add evidence-based resources from Fullscript directly within a treatment plan
- A ‘patient view’ so practitioners can see their patients’ experience before sending a recommendation
- Preloaded messages to make the recommending process faster
- An emoji library, allowing practitioners to connect with patients on a more personal level
- The ability to embed links in treatment plans
5. Introducing shareable wellness protocols
Practice management + growth One of our most exciting product releases of 2020 was the shareable wellness protocols feature. It’s quickly become one of our most popular and talked-about tools in Fullscript. Before launching in August, practitioners had the ability to save time by creating a protocol, and then customizing it and applying it to a single patient’s treatment plan. We knew that more practitioners were looking to do one-to-many care, so we made it possible for a general wellness protocol to be created and shared with ALL patients in a dispensary — instantly!Patients can choose ready-made protocols made by practitioners. After publishing the protocol for all patients, the platform automatically generates a unique link to that protocol, which the practitioner can share publicly. Practitioners began placing these links in emails, newsletters, on their websites, and in private social media groups, driving patients into the dispensary to self-serve from the recommended products.
This also became an amazing patient acquisition tool. After clicking on a publicly shared protocol, new patients could sign up for a Fullscript account under the practitioner’s dispensary in order to access the protocol. Pssst — stay tuned for major upgrades to shareable wellness protocols in early 2021.
The shareable wellness protocols feature has attracted more than 5,500 NEW patients to practitioners’ dispensaries since its launch in August 2020.
6. Going carbon-neutral
Sustainability + better business In August 2020, we became a certified carbon-neutral organization, neutralizing our carbon footprint from January 1st, 2020 onwards. This involved calculating our total emissions as a company, measured in tonne CO2 equivalent (CO2e) — an enormous task that meant looking at the emissions of everything from our servers, to operations, and shipping. We then purchased offsets equivalent to our total output. We also made a commitment that this would be our first step towards greater change. We continued looking at other ways we could become a more sustainable organization, and you’ll see some of those initiatives come to life in the year ahead.
In 2020, we offset approximately 3400 tCO2e — roughly equivalent to driving your family sedan 22,869 miles every day for a year. We offset these emissions with investments in North American afforestation to reforest unused farmland.
7. Offering wholesale purchasing
Customizable + flexible Simplicity + reducing tech clutter Perhaps one of our biggest achievements in 2020 was combining our two dispensing platforms into one. Fullscript merged with Natural Partners in 2018, bringing their unmatched expertise in wholesale supplement distribution into the fold. Until September of 2020, the company operated two different platforms. Now, Fullscript is the only supplement dispensary to offer practitioners both virtual direct-to-patient and wholesale ordering all in one place. The new catalog and checkout experience mean that practitioners can use a single browser tab for all of their dispensing needs — from sending virtual recommendations, to ordering wholesale for products they want to sell in-office, and leveraging one-to-many care for wider impact and patient acquisition.
Towards the end of the year, we also added the ability for Natural Partners practitioners to sync their accounts, importing their item history from their Natural Partners account into Fullscript.
“Being able to shop wholesale from the same place I do virtual dispensing makes my work life easier. I no longer have to go to multiple platforms or companies to get my clients what they need.” — Geri Brewster, RD, MPH, CDN
8. Refreshing the catalog
Customizable + flexible When we launched wholesale ordering on Fullscript, we also released a refreshed catalog experience in Fullscript. Aside from adding wholesale products into the catalog, we updated it to reflect the same speed, search functionality, responsive design, and intuitive navigation that practitioners were enjoying in the new treatment plan tool. This made it easier for practitioners to find exactly what they needed in the catalog, giving them extra flexibility and control around search and which device they wanted to use.
Around the same time, we made some upgrades to the practitioner dashboard:
- We added a welcome dashboard that made it easier to give practitioners updates, and faster for them to access the most commonly used tools
- The ‘Add a patient’ page got a makeover, making it mobile-friendly, adding requested fields, making it easier to customize discounts, as well as the option to preview the automated recommendation emails that patients receive.
“When we merged online during the shut down, Fullscript was the obvious choice to help serve our virtual patients. I literally sold my first prescription within an hour of joining because the software is so user friendly. Not only did it help quickly serve our virtual patients but we immediately cut down our dispensary costs for those “uncommon” products as we directed our in-office patients to Fullscript as well. Within the first month we created and sold over 25 scripts and it’s all pure profit to the business” — Dr. Andrea Maxim, ND
9. Supporting student accounts
Practice management + growth As part of our efforts to help grow and educate the integrative healthcare community, we updated the platform in 2020 to support student ordering accounts. This way, students with credentials that prove enrollment at an accredited institution — for a program that leads to a medical or an integrative health designation — could use certain Fullscript features to prepare them for life as a working practitioner.
Approved student accounts can now use the treatment plan tool to practice writing recommendations. They can order supplements for themselves and their family or friends with industry-standard discounts. They can begin to set up their online dispensary so they can hit the ground running after graduation using the catalog, Fullscript protocols, and all of the curated resources to discover products and enhance their knowledge of integrative medicine and supplements.
10. Growing our EHR integrations
Customizable + flexible Simplicity + reducing tech clutter As part of our commitment to reduce tech complexity, streamline practitioner workflows, and meet our users where they are, we continued to improve our industry-leading EHR integrations. We added even more partners to our integration offerings, such as:
- Unified Practice
- Living Plate
We also dedicated a lot of time and resources to improving our API so the integration process is easier, faster, and leads to a better user experience for practitioners. Fullscript was the first dispensary to integrate with an EHR, and we know it’s a major game-changer for our users.
So, what next?
As we move into 2021, there’s still a lot to learn. But, in the global healthcare community, there’s hope — and certainly a sense of pride in how we’ve all managed and solved some of the enormous challenges of the past year.
At Fullscript, we’re more certain of our purpose and direction than ever before. The lessons we’ve learned in 2020 and the feedback we’ve gathered from our practitioners, patients, partners, advisers, and community at large have helped us create a new set of product priorities and themes.
In 2021, here’s what you can expect from us. Stay-tuned for specifics — these launches are going to be big.
- A larger emphasis on adherence — both as a way of improving patient outcomes, and maintaining healthy revenue for practices
- Helping practitioners determine and implement their perfect dispensing mix — and easily evolve it, as needed
- Customization of the platform — giving practitioners more control over the features that appear in their Fullscript dispensary
- More robust decision support
- Growing our integrations and partnerships, including relationships that go beyond EHRs — and even supplements — to include new offerings that play a key role in wellness
- Delivering on our commitment to becoming more sustainable